Ahmad Rahami: Targeting a Race in the Footsteps of the Tsarnaev Brothers



On the morning of Saturday, September 17, 2016, as runners gathered for the Seaside Semper Five Marine Corps Charity 5K race, a terrorist had another idea-to kill runners at a road race. The race provides resources for the Marine Corps and Marine Special Operation Command (MARSOC) Foundation to help those who have sacrificed the most. The terrorist placed three pipe bombs in a trash can along the race course. The One Mile Fun Run race was to start at 9 a.m. followed by the 5K Race but due to heavy onsite registrations the race’s start was delayed. Because of the delay no runners where by the trash can that contained the explosive device. One of the three pipe bombs detonated causing the race to be cancelled.

The One Mile Fun Run is usually run by kids. Clearly the terrorist had no problem targeting not only the charity run but also seemed to want to target the fun run. Ahmad Khan Rahami wrote in his journal “in the streets they plan to run a mile.” I think back to Martin Richard, an eight-year old spectator who was out to watch the Boston Marathon with his family. Richards, was killed, his sister lost a leg and his mom had severe brain injuries when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left a backpack with a pressure cooker bomb among the spectators watching the finish of the race.

Ahmad Khan Rahami sought to follow in the footsteps of the Tsarnaev brothers. Just as the Tsarnaev brothers had no qualms about killing and injuring kids, families, runners, and spectators, Rahami wanted to start his killing spree by attacking a road race. In 2014, over 8 million individuals finished 5K races across America. We have now had two instances, the Boston Marathon and the Seaside Semper Five race where terrorists have attacked a road race in America. Ahmad Khan Rahami was manipulated and motivated by the words of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in Yemen and Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani, the deceased Islamic State’s spokesman. Rahami wrote in his journal “You (USA Government) continue your (unintelligible) slaughter against the mujahidean be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham (Syria), Palestine . . . .”

The Tsarnaev brothers used pressure cooker explosive devices to attack the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, killing 3 and injuring 264 individuals. The two terrorist brothers learned to build their pressure cooker bombs after going online to Inspire Magazine. Inspire, a colorful propaganda effort was the work of Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen. Rahami also used pressure cooker bombs at the West 23rd Street attack and at West 27th Street. The Tsarnaev brothers killed an MIT Police Officer Sean Collier and engaged police in a gun battle. Ahmad Rahami shot two Linden police officers who suffered non-life threatening wounds before he was shot and apprehended. Rahami mindset is clear with his own statement in his journal stating “I beg (unintelligible) for shahadat (martyrdom) & Inshallah (God willing) this call will be answered.”

Rahami’s handwritten journal gives some insight into the mindset of a radicalized terrorist in our backyard and the dangers these individuals pose even at an athletic event such as a road race. Rahami closes his journal entries with “Inshallah (God willing) the sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death to Your OPPRESSION.”

Rahami clearly has never been a runner. He doesn’t know that obstacles for runners are just part of the course. Hills, rain, cross winds, weather, pain are just part of the race. He doesn’t know that running is addictive. The Seaside Semper Five Race was a charity fundraiser to raise funds for the Marine Corps and the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) Foundation. Rahami clearly doesn’t know anything about the Marine Corps. The motto of MARSOC is unconquerable spirit. This race has an unconquerable spirit and this Sunday, September 25th, the race will go on. For as Roger Bannister stated “the human spirit is indomitable.”

This Sunday the sound of a starting gun will be heard in Seaside, New Jersey followed by the sounds of runner’s feet making their way along the race course. Spectators will cheer even more loudly for the runners. Police officers will ensure the course is safe for all. And I suspect, next year record numbers of runners will sign up to run this great race just as record numbers signed up to run the Boston Marathon in 2014. The American Spirit truly is indomitable. For more information about the race see the link below or make a donation to the MARSOC Foundation and support those who are “Always Faithful.”


September 11th: Thank God That They Lived

WTC Memorial.png

For the last fifteen years we have honored those who lost their lives on this day because of horrific acts of terrorism. Today, take a moment and remember all those victims, heroes and people who fifteen years ago did not seek out heroism. Some of them were heroes in how they lived their lives and touched others. Remember those brave individuals, the first responders who rushed in to give aid and assistance. Our thoughts and prayers for you and your families. September 11th, 2001 was a long day that will never be forgotten. General George Patton once said, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Today, we should take Gen. Patton’s words to heart and thank God for the heroes and victims of September 11th. For they have touched us all with their lives and how they lived.

Deja Vu: Releasing Terrorists from Guantanamo Bay

Abu Zubaydah's Safe House on Canal Road

Déjà vu is the French word for already seen. Last week seemed like déjà vu again. Terrorists at Guantanamo Bay seem to be reading off the same script. Not long ago, Abu Zubadah, the master of deception to some and the poster boy for torture to others appeared before the Periodic Review Board. Abu Zubaydah in a statement read for him stated that he has no desire or intent to harm the United States. Abu Zubaydah wants to be reunited with his family and begin the process of recovering from injuries he sustained during his capture. Abu Zubaydah has some seed money that could be used to start a business after he is reintegrated into society and is living a peaceful life. Where have I heard that before. A couple weeks earlier one of Abu Zubaydah’s bomb makers had a similar story he was peddling.

After 14 years of captivity in Guantanamo, Sufyian Barhoumi, a senior Al- Qaeda bomb maker and explosives trainer now has a plan. He wants to open up a pizzeria in Algeria. Barhoumi’s family has purchased a place so that he can open up a pizzeria in Algiers. For years in Afghanistan neither terrorist spent any time with their family. Now they both want to go into business and be reunited with their families. The Obama Administration seeking to close Guantanamo Bay has cleared Barhoumi for release and may even be fooled by the master of deception.

Sufyian Barhoumi grew up in Algiers, Algeria and came from a large-middle class family. After completing high school he left Algeria and traveled throughout Europe ending up in London. He became part of Abu Qatada’s sphere of influence at the Baker Street Mosque in London. In 1999 he was recruited by Abd Al-Rahman and left for Afghanistan with a false French passport in the name of Khalid Stouf to receive training to wage jihad against the Russians in Chechnya.

Barhoumi during his training in the camps completed firearms training, learned tactical movement, navigation, artillery and mortars, and learned small unit tactics. Barhoumi was also instructed on the use of landmines and explosives. During a training accident, Barhoumi lost four fingers on his left hand after an explosion. After recovering from his injury he trained at Ibn Sheikh Al Libi’s Khalden camp from late 1999 to May 2000. Barhoumi then attempted to get to Chechnya but was unable to navigate the heavy security. Instead he moved between guesthouses in Jalalabad, Kabul and Kandahar providing instruction in bomb making and particularly remote controlled improvised explosive devices. One of the individuals he trained on improvised explosive devices was Jose Padilla. Padilla was sent by Abu Zubaydah to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who approved Padilla to undertake a “Dirty Bomb” plot in Chicago.

With the invasion of Afghanistan in the fall of 2001, Barhoumi along with numerous other Arabs fled Afghanistan crossing the mountains into Pakistan. But Barhoumi wasn’t fleeing blindly into Pakistan. For he was associated with Abu Zubaydah who had connections. Once in Pakistan “people from the military helped us on the road,” according to Barhoumi. Initially he stayed at a guesthouse in Waziristan and then traveled to Peshawar and then Lahore. Barhoumi then arrived at Hameedullah Khan Niazi’s house on Canal Road in Faisalabad. He was there for ten days before the house was raided. Niazi, a local Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader operated two safe houses in Faisalabad that sheltered Abu Zubaydah’s fighters. Pakistan police didn’t arrest the LeT leader for operating two terrorist safe houses. Niazi’s huge concrete house on Canal Road was guarded by high concrete walls topped with barbed wire and had a blue steel gate leading to a carport. Barhoumi was there at the behest of Abu Zubaydah to conduct a mobile training class on remote control initiated bombs.

Common sense should dictate that neither of these two deadly terrorists ever obtain their freedom. But common sense is the last thing dictating the transfers of those being detained at Guantanamo Bay. As the Obama Administration nears the end of its time the rush to empty GTMO picks up more urgency. Recently, the Obama administration transferred 15 detainees to the United Arab Emirates. Abu Zubaydah had gathered nearly thirty fighters at the Martyrs and Issa safe houses in Faisalabad and had brought in his master bomb maker to train them for an IED campaign against US military forces in Afghanistan.

In June 2004, it was recommended that Barhoumi be retained under DOD Control since it was assessed that he was a member of the Al-Qaeda network. The assessment of Barhoumi showed that he refused to participate in any interrogations in over a year and was deemed to be withholding intelligence. Barhoumi had been deceptive during numerous interrogations. Numerous detainees being held in Guantanamo including Abu Zubaydah provided details that clearly showed Barhoumi to be a senior Al-Qaeda explosives expert and trainer. In January 2010, the Guantánamo Review Task Force had recommended him for prosecution. The only thing that has changed since that is the political expediency of this administration in closing the one place holding the world’s most dangerous terrorists.

Some individuals have stated that Abu Zubaydah is unstable and crazy. Abu Zubaydah may be crazy as a fox, or crazy as New York mob boss Vincent “the Chin” Gigante.” Gigante, for almost three decades convinced individuals that he was crazy by walking around the neighborhood in his pajamas and a robe mumbling to himself. Not really known by his real name Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Hussain, but by his kunya, Abu Zubaydah is a master terrorist. He was not a sworn member of Al-Qaeda but was so closely associated with them. Just like some mobsters in New Jersey are not sworn members of the Mafia they are still dangerous criminals.

Abu Zubaydah for years kept a diary which was seized when he was captured. One of his diary entries from January 15, 1995, shreds light on who he really is and how he thinks.

Today is 1/15/95 ..
The place .. The Martyr’s house .. Peshawar .. Pakistan of course
I am [crossed out] sitting on the revolving chair.. Behind the office desk.. In the administration room..
Being the prince of the house; the Martyr’s house .. The center of terrorism, as it’s called ..
I think And praise be to God..
I think .. Tomorrow .. Or maybe after tomorrow .. God willing.
I will receive an official U.N card, as being a refugee in Pakistan.. Under the protection of the United Nations..
And I say to myself .. If these people knew that they are now helping the prince of the Martyr’s house, they would have drop dead from anger
Thank God .. I was able to deceive them ..

On November 30, 2001, with the fighting in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda going full bore, Abu Zubaydah wrote in his diary that:

Yesterday, I and Sayf Al-Adl, the military official of Al-Qa’ida, and other brothers, were in a meeting with Al-Tayyib Agha, Mulla ‘Umar’s secretary, so that we can meet Mulla ‘Umar, in order to understand the situation..

Abu Zubaydah has always stated that he was not a part of Al-Qaeda. No matter if that is true, he surely engaged with multiple high ranking terrorists at the highest levels of Al-Qaeda. Abu Zubaydah interacted with such noted terrorists as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu Hafs al-Masri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, Mohammad Rashid Du’ad al-Owhali, Djamel Beghal, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Khallad Bin Attash, and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi among others. Among the items seized at the Faisalabad safe house was a videotape in which Abu Zubaydah tells his followers to get behind Osama Bin Laden as the leader of the mujahideen in Afghanistan. Abu Zubaydah states “We and the Sheikh are one. We have been working together for almost ten years, but we were hoping to keep this work secret.”
Abu Zubaydah wasted no time gathering a cadre of explosives instructors to train other brothers once he had escaped the fighting in Afghanistan. Abu Zubaydah planned to use them to launch a campaign of attacks against American military forces in Afghanistan using remote controlled improvised explosive devices.

January 18, 2002
With me are some brothers, some of them were instructors at Khaldun Camp, and I chose some of them myself, and some were moved by their circumstances to follow me..

Abu Zubaydah assembled those who would be the foundation of his Martyrs Brigade at two safe houses in Faisalabad. With Abu Zubaydah in the Canal Road safe house was Sufiyan Ibn Muhammed. Muhammed would be one of the primary trainers to provide explosives and electronic detonator training along with two engineers Jabran Sa’ ad Wazar and Ghassan Abdallah Ghazi al-Sharbi.

Today, 2/10/2002 AD
We moved to another house, or more precisely, two houses, divided ourselves in it, also (temporary..
And in order to arrange our matters and split from our Pakistani brothers, rather the Arabs, too, in another house, completely independent and isolated.. And even at that time, we will stay this way, unsettled, we cannot start any program..
I do not know whether I informed you, or maybe with the hectic work, I did not inform you..
I have chosen some brothers, cadres, for the military matters, especially explosives (making it), and detonation from a distance (remote control)..
I took them with me, away from the flood, one or two individuals from each military science, just like Noah, peace be upon him, did, two pairs from each being.. An instructor or two from each military subject, they are the nucleus of my future work, and I am starting from zero, I would not say another time, maybe it is the tenth..

Abu Zubaydah and his Martyrs Brigade would never get the opportunity to attack American forces in Afghanistan. In the early morning hours of March 28, 2002, a combined team of American and Pakistani forces would simultaneously raid Abu Zubaydah’s two safe houses. Zubaydah didn’t pick up an AK-47 to fight. Instead he would quickly head for the rooftop seeking to escape. Zubaydah’s Syrian and Egyptian bodyguards slowed the entry with gunfire giving their boss time to make it to the rooftop where he jumped to a neighbor’s roof. His bodyguards quickly followed and during an ensuing gun battle all three were shot. Abu al-Hasnat was killed in the gun battle on the roof. Zubaydah and his other bodyguard were seriously wounded. Abu Zubaydah and his bodyguard would both survive after receiving medical treatment. The United States brought in one of the best trauma surgeons from John Hopkins Hospital. Black sites, waterboarding, interrogations, and then sent to Guantanamo.

Déjà vu again. Another terrorist thinks they might be released from Guantanamo Bay. Abu Zubaydah’s personal representatives feel that Abu Zubaydah no longer needs to be detained. Initially Abu Zubaydah believed that he didn’t have a chance to be released. Probably because initially there wasn’t a chance he would ever be released. Why would we take the chance today that these terrorists might be a security risk to the United States and other global citizens? So that President Obama can say that he closed GTMO. Let’s not be deceived anymore. Abu Zubaydah’s own words in his diary shed light on how this terrorist thinks.

If these people knew that they are now helping the prince of the Martyr’s house, they would have drop dead from anger
Thank God .. I was able to deceive them

Déjà vu again.

The Evolving Terrorism Threat in America and the Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Program


On July 15, 2016, I had the opportunity to present testimony with the Orlando Chief of  Police John Mina and Sheriff Jerry Demings before a Joint Congressional  Subcommittee hearing. The purpose of this hearing was to bring attention to the fact that the terrorist threat to America hasn’t been reduced and that Orlando over the last two years didn’t make the cut for UASI funds.  It was a privilege to hear about the brave law enforcement officers who responded to the attack by Omar Mateen at the Pulse nightclub.  If we don’t provide resources and training for our local and state law enforcement communities we won’t be successful in identifying and defeating the homegrown and international terrorist threat that hasn’t gone away.

Walter Purdy
President of the Terrorism Research Center Inc.

Testimony Before the Joint House Subcommittees on National Security
And Transportation and Public Assets, United States House of Representatives
July 15, 2015

Opening Statement

Chairman Mica, Chairman DeSantis, Ranking Members Duckworth, and Lynch, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify on this important issue. The terrorism threat in America is one that is constantly evolving. In the wake of the terrorist attacks last night in Nice, the previous attacks in Paris, Brussels, Boston, Charleston, Chattanooga, Garland, San Bernardino, and Orlando, the last thing we should be doing is reducing the level of funding that is aimed to protect America. It is unthinkable at this time that President Obama’s budget reduces the level of funding for homeland security through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) as well as in other funding mechanisms to protect the homeland.

The threat to America from terrorists has not gone away or been reduced. The Director of the FBI, James Comey has warned that the FBI is investigating ISIS suspects in all 50 states with more than 900 investigations. Even the funding for State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) conducted through the Department of Justice has been reduced and cut back. Yet, the terrorism threat to America seems to be growing and evolving. Recently, the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson testified at a Senate hearing on funding for Homeland Security that he was constrained by a budget agreement and wasn’t happy but they had made hard choices.

If the terrorist threat to America was reduced or going away I could support a reduction of funding to UASI and the Department of Homeland Security. But that is not the case. We have seen homegrown radicalized terrorists conduct attacks where the attackers numbered no more than two as in the San Bernardino attack on December 2, 2015. Yet, we are asking the law enforcement community to deal with this ever growing complex challenge as funding levels are cut. We can’t expect that the law enforcement community is going to be prepared in the future when funding under UASI and other Homeland Security programs are being cut. Congress has heard from mayors, chiefs of police, sheriffs across America that have lobbied for a departure from the budget being presented by President Obama in regard to this issue.

The threat is real and I would ask you to change the direction and approach to funding UASI and other mechanisms that provide the resources and assistances needed by first responders in America. I thank you and look forward to answering any questions you might have.

Submitted Testimony for the Record

The Evolving Terrorism Threat in America and the Urban Area
Security Initiative Grant Program

Walter Purdy
President of the Terrorism Research Center Inc.

Before the Subcommittee on National Security And Transportation and Public Assets
United States House of Representatives

July 15, 2015

Chairman Mica, Chairman DeSantis, Ranking Members Duckworth, and Lynch, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify on this important issue. The terrorism threat in America is one that is constantly evolving. In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, Boston, Charleston, Chattanooga, Garland, San Bernardino, and Orlando, the last thing we should be doing is reducing the level of funding that is aimed to protect America. It is unthinkable that President Obama’s budget reduces the level of funding for homeland security through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) as well as in other funding mechanisms to protect the homeland.

The threat to America from terrorists has not gone away or been reduced. The Director of the FBI, James Comey has warned that the FBI is investigating ISIS suspects in all 50 states with more than 900 investigations. Even the funding for State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) conducted through the Department of Justice has been reduced and cut back. Yet, the terrorism threat to America seems to be growing and evolving. Recently, the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson testified at a Senate hearing on funding for Homeland Security that he was constrained by a budget agreement and wasn’t happy but they had made hard choices. If the terrorist threat to America was reduced or going away I could support a reduction of funding to UASI and the Department of Homeland Security. But that is not the case.

Before September 11th terrorist groups like Al Qaeda sought to identify and recruit individuals to travel and train in terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Today the plethora of terrorist groups associated with Al-Qaeda and ISIS use social media and slick on-line magazines like Dabiq and Inspire to launch attacks wherever they may be. We have seen a large number of terrorist wannabes that have been thankfully identified, arrested and charged by law enforcement here in the United States. We can’t afford to let our guard down or Congress will have to fund another 9/11 Commission when terrorists conduct a Paris or Mumbai style attack here in America. And the question the American people will want Congress to answer is “how could this have happened again in America.?

Until today, we have seen homegrown radicalized terrorists conduct attacks where the attackers numbered no more than two as in the San Bernardino attack on December 2, 2015. Yet, we are asking the law enforcement community to deal with this ever growing complex challenge as funding levels are cut. We can’t expect that the law enforcement community is going to be prepared in the future when funding under UASI and other Homeland Security programs are being cut. Congress has heard from mayors, chiefs of police, sheriffs across America that have lobbied for a departure from the budget being presented by President Obama in regard to this issue.

The terrorist attacks and plots that we have seen here in the United States in the last ten years should remind us all that the threat of terrorism is not going away. The threat is evolving and getting more complex as terrorists adapt to evade and defeat measures put in place to identify them here in the United States. These issues are of the utmost importance for our country’s security not only today, but in the future. America can’t afford a shoe string approach to funding training for the first responder community.

In the last week we have seen arrests by the FBI of individuals in Burke and Sterling, Virginia not more than 20 miles from the Capital. These two individuals were both supporters of ISIS. One was identifying targets for a purported ISIS video and the other had purchased a weapon to launch an attack. The threat is real and I would ask you to change the direction and approach to funding UASI and other mechanisms that provide the resources and assistance needed by first responders in America.

Released GTMO Terrorist “Jihad Dhiab” Flees Uruguay

In June 2014, the Obama Administration released six terrorists from Guantanamo Bay after Uruguay agreed to take them. Jihad Ahmed Mustafa Dhiab was one of the six released to a house on Maldonado Street in Montevideo, Uruguay. Jihad Dhiab not long ago decided to flee Montevideo for Brazil.  Maybe he wanted to beat the rush next month to Rio for the Olympic Games. Maybe he wanted to travel to the Tri-Border region, a lawless area of South America known for harboring terrorists, criminals and smugglers. Maybe he wanted to return to Syria to appeal the conviction and death sentence he received in absentia for terrorist activities when he fled Syria for Afghanistan in 2000. Today, law enforcement officers in Brazil are attempting to locate Jihad Dhiab.

During Dhiab’s time at Guantanamo Bay he was deemed to be a high risk, who posed a threat to the United States, its interests and allies. How a terrorist like Jihad Dhiab goes from being assessed and recommended for “continued detention” to actually being released is another story. But a campaign promise by President Obama to close Guantanamo Bay weighs more heavily than risks posed to Americans by terrorists held there. At the very least Jihad Dhiab should have been charged and tried.

Jihad Ahmed Mustafa Dhiab, a Syrian citizen was an expert forger who was part of a Syrian terrorist cell. The cell provided support for members of Abu Zubaydah’s global network and Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The leader of the Damascus terrorist cell was Sulayman Khalid Darwish. Darwish was the uncle of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq which later became the Islamic State. In July 2000, Syrian Intelligence officials arrested 15 members of this cell forcing the rest of the cell to flee to Afghanistan. Dhiab fled to Afghanistan and was sentenced to death in absentia for his terrorist activities in Syria. Dhiab also has ties to numerous other noted terrorists to include the September 11th recruiter Muhammad Zammar, Muhammad Yaqub, Ali Muhammad Abdul Aziz al-Fakhri (Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi) and Abu Zur al-Tunisi among others.

Dhiab’s forgery activities supported Abu Zubaydah’s global terrorist network since the mid 1990’s. While in Afghanistan, Dhiab received training at Al-Qaeda’s al-Faruq camp near Kandahar City.  Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, an Al-Qaeda paymaster listed Jihad Dhiab as an operative and provided an additional stipend for Dhiab’s four children.  With the fall of the Taliban in December 2001, Dhiab fled Afghanistan like so many Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters seeking refuge in Pakistan. Nur Zaman, the Al-Qaeda facilitator provided a residence in Lahore for Dhiab and his family.

On April 1, 2002, Dhaib was captured during a raid by Pakistani Police in Lahore at a safe house along with Abdul Haddi Bin Hadiddi, Muhammad Murdi Issa al-Zahrani and Abdullah Bin Omar. Dhiab was transferred to Guantanamo Bay where he was for twelve years before being released to Uruguay.

Dhiab was trained at Al-Qaeda’s Al-Faruq terrorist training camp, he provided material support to Abu Zubaydah and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was paid by an Al-Qaeda paymaster, provided housing by an Al-Qaeda facilitator and arrested in a safe house with other terrorists. And yet we have released this terrorist-maybe I am missing something.

Maybe Dhiab didn’t like the free housing he was given in Montevideo  or the $600 per month in financial support he was receiving. Offered a job, he and the other released terrorists refused the offer to work souring feelings with some union officials in the Uruguay capital.  A person who provides material support (i.e. forged documents) to a terrorist group like Jihad Dhiab is as much as a terrorist as the members of an execution cell. Hopefully, the Brazilian Police will be able to locate this released terrorist before he creates another headline.


The Wrong Message: Censorship and the Redacted Words of Orlando Terrorist Omar Mateen

911 Call from Omar Mateen

The recent controversy over the redacted 911 call to the Orlando Police from Omar Mateen is just another example of politics getting into the mix. For years numerous terrorist statements of all sorts for one reason or another have been tacitly censored. As if the American people couldn’t understand them or what motivated a terrorist to undertake a particular course of action. For the most part, many terrorist organizations love communicating what they believe, what they want to do and then taking credit when someone commits a horrific act of murder even if the person conducting the attack wasn’t directly connected. Media and propaganda play an important role in any terrorism attack.

The ebb and flow of ideas is a constant in the fight against terrorism. There should be no room for any sort of censorship dealing with this challenge we face. Last week my daughter started her summer reading program by taking one of the books she must read for 10th grade to the pool. Ironically, she will be reading two books Fahrenheit 451 and The Book Thief.  In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the author reminds  the reader of the harshest measures of censorship. Bradbury creates a world of strict rules and order where books are illegal and free thought is prohibited.   Free thought when dealing with the political issues of terrorism appears to not be so free. Yet, the American people are smart enough to realize why a terrorist commits some horrible killings and they don’t need a terrorist’s statements redacted. Bradbury has a line in Fahrenheit 451 that says “If you hide your ignorance. . . .you’ll never learn.”

It should surprise no one that Omar Mateen was a radical Islamist terrorist inspired by ISIS. He deliberately targeted a gay night club killing 49 Americans. He is not the first terrorist to target a gay night club and unfortunately he probably isn’t the last hate filled terrorist to target a segment of society. In 1997, a domestic terrorist, Eric Robert Rudolph detonated two bombs at the Otherside Lounge outside of Atlanta.

What is surprising is that politicials have been downplaying the threat from “homegrown inspired radical Islamist terrorists.” One individual who has been sounding the warning is FBI Director James Comey. Last year, Comey stated that the FBI caseload of ISIS suspects had exploded to more than 900 in all 50 states.  This growing threat should concern every American. The FBI, local law enforcement and the intelligence community need additional resources to combat this growing challenge before it gets out of hand. With close to 300 Americans that have traveled to fight for ISIS in Syria and Iraq and numerous attacks from Paris, Chattanooga to Orlando this is a threat that is not going away. Redacting the words of one terrorist will do nothing to stop the threat.

What a terrorist says is important to understand how to defeat them. In 2004, I drafted “Words of Terror” Statements and Analysis of Al-Qaeda Leaders” a document used in our Mirror Image training. I put this together because we identified a lack of knowledge of what terrorist leaders had said and the statements they had issued in those attending our immersion training. The bulk of those terrorists who spoke and issued statements we examined were true believers. Until law enforcement does a total review of Mateen’s background and a digital analysis of his computer, phone and electronics it is hard to say with any certainty who might have radicalized Mateen or who truly motivated or manipulated him to launch this attack. In the last two years, ISIS’ Dabiq magazine has been telling followers to conduct attacks where ever they are using knives, firearms and even trucks to kill disbelievers.

A few things are certain. Omar Mateen wanted to attack a soft target-a gay night club in Orlando. He lawfully acquired the weapons and ammunition needed. This attack has almost nothing to do with the Second Amendment. A terrorist that can’t get a firearm will seek out a knife. If he can’t get a knife or firearm he might seek out a truck. If he can’t get the weapon he wants he might build a suicide bomber vest or some other explosive device. Omar wanted the world to know that he pledged “bayat” or allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. If he didn’t want to attach himself to ISIS he wouldn’t have contacted the Orlando Police Dispatch. Omar wanted to instill terror and fear in the first responders who were trying to bring this to an end. But police had to worry about bombs outside the nightclub. Then Omar Mateen stated that he was going to put explosives on four people inside the nightclub. Forced suicide bombers would have added another dimension to an already dangerous situation. Omar also threatened that there would be other attacks in the following days. As if this attack wasn’t brutal enough.  As Brian Jenkins, the renowned terrorism expert has previously stated “kill one terrorize thousands. In this case, Omar killed 49 Americans and did terrorize thousands.

Omar Mateen was a killer who didn’t mind becoming a martyr for his cause. Much is at stake as America deals with the challenges of confronting homegrown inspired radical Islamist terrorists. But the last thing we need is to redact anything these terrorist say. Show the world who they really are and what they are attempting to accomplish. Our way of life will prevail.

Memorial Day


Memorial Day for many is nothing more than a three-day weekend. Few realize the reason why we have this holiday.

General John Logan, the Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic issued General Order Number 11 on May 5, 1868 stating that May 30th should be observed as Decoration Day. This day would be “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.” Decoration Day would become what we know as Memorial Day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Every person who has served knows someone who has lost their life in the service of their country. Heroes blood has stain the soil from the beaches of Normandy, to Okinawa, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh, La Drang Valley, Beirut, Grenada, Kuwait, the mountains of Afghanistan, Fallujah, Ramadi, and numerous other locations around the world.

Americans owes more than can ever be repaid to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Every year I make a visit to Arlington Cemetery to pay homage to those who lost their lives. But remembering those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom is the least we can do. We must make sure that their sacrifices were not in vain. America has always been a beacon of freedom in the world.  In these chaotic days Americans must take a proactive stance to ensure that the freedoms so bravely fought for are secured for the next generation of Americans to enjoy. Enjoy, remember and celebrate this Memorial Day! This holiday has been paid forward for us by so many others and we must all do something to pay it forward  for the next generation of Americans.

One hundred and fifty-three years ago, Abraham Lincoln went by train to Gettysburg for the dedication of the Cemetery and to honor those who lost their lives on that hallow ground. While Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address has been called one of the greatest speeches of all times, the following words are words we should all remember.

“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” So on this Memorial Day enjoy the freedoms that we all have but do something to honor those who have paid the ultimate price for our nation.




Mustafa Badreddine: The Ghost of Beirut Invisible No More

  Mustafa Badreddine photo

Cursed is the man who dies, but the evil done by him survives.
Abu Bakr

The results and handiwork of his evil have stretched across the Middle East for the last thirty-three years. Mustafa Amine Badredddine was born in 1961, within the municipality of Ghobeiri, Lebanon located halfway between downtown Beirut and the Beirut International Airport. Like many boys growing up in this area the Lebanese Civil War was not a faceless conflict. The Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila are not far from his boyhood home. At a young age Mustafa joined the PLO’s Fatah Movement but then joined what would become Hezbollah.

Very early on Mustafa became what Hezbollah called “an engineer” or what most would call a bomb maker. Mustafa would become what some called “Hezbollah’s best bomb maker ever.” In September 1983, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) sent a cable to the Iranian Ambassador in Damascus to instruct Husayn al-Musawi to attack the U.S. Marines in Beirut. Musawi chose two of his most skilled operatives to overse and conduct this operation under the guidance of the Iranian Ambassador. One of the key founders of Hezbollah was the Iranian Ambassador Ali Akbar Mohtashemi who played a key role in supervising Mustafa Badreddine and Imad Mughniyeh.

On an October day, thirty three years ago Mustafa Badreddine was busy in the Bekaa Valley preparing two truck bombs. A suicide bomber would drive one truck into the nine story Drakkar Building housing French Paratroopers. The other suicide bomber would drive a big yellow Mercedes truck bomb into the Marine Barracks. On October 23, 1983, Badreddine’s work would kill 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French Paratroopers in Beirut, Lebanon. On that day President Reagan would note in his diary “We all believe Iranians did this bombing just as they did with our embassy last April.” The proxy war being waged between Iran and America was now full bore whether the Americans wanted to be engaged. The ghost of Beirut escaped the ruined Paris of the Middle East.

After the Beirut bombings, Badreddine went to Kuwait where he was part of the Kuwait 17. Fourteen Iraqis and three Lebanese terrorists would conduct a series of bombings inside Kuwait. The Kuwait 17 targeted the American and French Embassies, Kuwait Airport and a number of other targets. Badreddine was arrested and in March 1984 sentenced to death by a Kuwaiti Court for his role in these attacks. Over the next six years, Badreddine’s brother-in-law, Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh would kidnap over 30 westerners demanding consistently seeking Badreddin’s release. But all of Mughniyeh’s efforts to free his brother-in-law would be fruitless.

In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and members of the Iraqi Republican Guard freed all those being held in Kuwait prisons unwittingly giving Badreddine his freedom. Badreddine immediately escaped to Iran where after recuperating he made his way back to Lebanon. Upon his return to Lebanon, Badreddine helped establish Hezbollah Unit 1800, a special unit that assisted Palestinian terrorists conduct operations. Later he helped establish the Hezbollah Unit 3800 along with Iranians which targeted Americans in Iraq.

As an experienced bomb maker Badreddine wasted no time thinking about how to kill Rafik Hariri. Why change tactics just because this next target had an experienced security detail. The operation would require a casing and surveillance network to rival any Badreddine had coordinated. On February 14, 2005, Badreddine’s bomb placed on a Mitsubishi Canter truck detonated and killed Rafik Hariri as his motorcade passed Beirut’s legendary St. George’s Hotel. Two legends of Beirut died that day but the ghost of Beirut vanished once again. Since Hezbollah was so interwoven into Lebanon, an impartial investigation by outsiders was the only way to learn the truth about who was responsible for this assassination of a noted Lebanese government official. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon in the Hague conducted the investigation and charged Badreddine and four others. The trial in absentia began on January 16, 2014, for Badreddine and the other indicted defendants. Badreddine, the ghost of Beirut and the other defendants had absconded or otherwise could not be found.

But a ghost can be found by friends who could locate him to party on a luxury yacht or dine in a chic Beirut restaurant. A couple years ago one of the few pictures of Badreddine emerged when he used an ATM machine in Beirut. Otherwise he remained a ghost in the midst of so many people looking for him. Over time even people trained in the art of tradecraft become complacent. It happens to the best of them.
When Imad Mughniyeh was killed in Syria in February 2008, Badreddine was tapped to replace his brother-in-law within Hezbollah. For whatever reason, the veteran Hezbollah bomb maker while he remained hard to find was becoming not so invisible any more. He was warned to tone down his public appearances which at times he seem to disregard believing the dozens of kunyas, cover stories and business fronts would provide him with an adequate layer of protection. Since 2012 Badreddine has played a crucial role coordinating Hezbollah activities in Syria. But the war had not gone the way it was planned. There were too many jihadi groups that didn’t kowtow to the ghost of Beirut. What was done in the glory days of resistance meant nothing now. Badreddine was not a ghost in Damascus and he had a larger group of enemies. ISIS, Al-Nusra, factions within Hezbollah, Clerical factions, the Russians, Syrians, Iranians, who to trust, who not to trust. Israel, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the Free Syrian Army, the list goes on and on. Terrorism, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Hezbollah, the IRGC, Mustafa Badreddine and too many victims have all been tied together for over thirty-three years.

In January 2015, Badreddine skipped a meeting in which his nephew Jihad Mughniyeh and Gen. Mohammad Ali Allah-Dadi, a senior commander in the IRGC were killed in an airstrike by Israel. The ghost of Beirut had cheated death once more. But instead of going to ground Badreddin attended his nephew’s funeral. Who killed Mustafa Badreddine remains a mystery and really doesn’t matter. This ghost of Beirut should have been removed but over the years he had so much help. It is this assistance that enables terrorists to hide or remain hidden in plain sight. Those that offered this assistance are just as responsible.

America’s global war with terrorism began back in Beirut. Back then, very few people knew the name of Mustafa Badreddine. But today the ghost of Beirut is invisible no more, and more importantly he is just that a ghost, unable to cause evil ever again.

From the Edge of Raqqa: Mirror Image Training August 1-5, 2016

TRC Small Logo

Participants will be divided into one of four “replicated cells” to include two cells of ISIS, one cell of Ansar al-Jebhat al-Nusra li-Ahl al Sham and one from one of the following Wilayats. Libya (Wilayat al-Barqah, Wilayat al-Tarabulus, and Wilayat al-Fizan), Algeria (Wilayat al-Jazair), Egypt (Wilayat Sinai), Yemen (Wilayat Sanaa), and Saudi Arabia (Wilayat al-Haramayn). New provinces were announced in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border (Wilayat Khorasan), Northern Nigeria (Wilayat Gharb Afriqiya),] and the North Caucasus (Wilayat al-Qawqaz). This program is a total immersion training program that consists of hardships and long hours. All food, lodging, weapons, ammunition, gear and training materials are provided. A read ahead packet will be provided upon registration.

Each day the participants will attend lectures from special guest speakers and hear from cell advisers. Members of each cell will work various positions to include a cell leader, internal security, religious leader, engineer, media and propaganda, logistics and finance among others.

Lectures will explore the forming and evolution of ISIS, how Wilayats are formed and the process for conducting operations with the blessing of the shura council and the military council. Each cell will conduct an ambush, a kidnapping, an attack on a convoy, as well as undertake a martyrdom mission. For all operations the cell will deal with smugglers, black marketeers and will put together a media and propaganda plan and gain an understanding of the Salafist ideology as well as ISIS’ leadership. Some of the previous speakers we have used have included Peter Bergen, Dr. Michael Scheuer, Gary Berntsen, Rohan Gunaratna, Nir Rosen and a number of others guest speakers who will remain anonymous until after they have spoken to the participants. This class will hear from a special guest speaker with much operational experience in the area and will watch a number of interviews with ISIS fighters.

Some of the lectures will include Kidnappings and Beheadings, ISIS Media and Propaganda, a Letter From the ISIS Intel Chief informing ISIS’ leadership of the current situation in the Levant and abroad, Finances, Operations in Europe, Operations in the Wilayats, Internal Security During Operations, Defeating the Apostate Assad, Our Current Situation, as well as other topics.

                                                           The History of Mirror Image

In 2002, I created Mirror Image: Training to Combat Terrorism after interviewing the first American who traveled to Afghanistan and trained in the Khalid Bin Walid terrorism training camp. The idea was to combine what we had learned conducting that interview as well as interviews of numerous individuals in the Middle East. By replicating a terrorist training camp and allowing military, intelligence and law enforcement to walk in the shoes of the enemy one might gain an understanding of terrorist tactics, techniques and procedures. But more importantly Mirror Image was designed to provide “understanding of the enemy” as well as the “operational methodology” of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.

TRC has brought some of the most renowned subject matter experts to provide instruction and share their experiences. From the early days when we rented space at Blackwater, Mirror Image has been conducted at such places like Ft Huachuca, Camp Rilea, Camp Blanding, Camp Fogarty, Camp Blanding, Ft. Irwin, Camp Pendleton, Camp Billy Machen, F.E .Warren AFB, Canada, Djibouti and other unmentioned locations. Thousands of military, intelligence and law enforcement have all experienced the spider web and learned to think like a “terrorist.” Living, eating, thinking, planning and executing not like westerners but like the adversaries they would face.  Sun Tzu has been our strategic guide for every Mirror Image. As the Chinese General stated in The Art of War: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
With research trips to the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa and other locations we developed other unique one-of-a-kind programs like Mirror Image: Afghanistan, Mirror Image: Kandahar, Mirror Image Iraq, Mirror Image Anbar Province, Mirror Image Kunar Province, Mirror Image Pakistan, Mirror Image: Mindanao, Financial Mirror Image: Understanding the Adversary By Walking in His Financial Shoes, Mirror Image: Across the Sahel, Persian Mirror Image: Understanding the Islamic Republic, Revolution and Sacrifice, and now Mirror Image: From the Edge of Raqqa, the Evolution and Future of ISIS and their Wilayats.

 Culture, food, language, ideology and history have all added important skillsets and aided in framing the correct mindset. Exercises have included the types of operations that terrorists have conducted around the world. These have included car bombings, truck bombings, suicide bombings, assassination by motorcycles, ambushes, kidnappings, assaults on convoys, attacks on protected principals, attacks on aviation, attacks on protected compounds and FOBs, all having detailed case studies and special guest speakers who have stepped the our participants through what happened often hearing from an individual who was kidnapped and held for hundreds of days before being released, ransomed or rescued. Just as terrorists attempt to manipulate and craft a message to their targeted audience all operations include media and propaganda activities.         

No two Mirror Image programs have ever been alike. They are not a canned product like some wanted. Instead, each one is hand crafted and put together to draw teaching points that are unique for the participants. I would know since I have designed them and led every Mirror Image except one since 2002.  We have had numerous Mirror Image attendees return for a second or third program. We have conducted a special “hardship version” that was two weeks long in a special location for a client as part of their preparation for deployment. All of our Mirror Image programs have nontraditional days with students spending up to sixteen hours a day planning for the next attacks.

Very little is in the public domain about these programs and that is how we like it. I would be happy to speak with anyone from the military, intelligence and law enforcement about any of these one of-a-kind programs.

For more information regarding our upcoming Mirror Image or how you can bring this training to your location or to customize a program for your unit or agency contact Walter Purdy at (703) 801-2297 or at Purdy@terrorism3.com. There is a registration sheet attached for your convience. Please mail in immediately if you are interested. Registration is limited so reserve your seat promptly in

Mirror Image: From the Edge of Raqqa, the Evolution and Future of ISIS and their Wilayats.

.                        “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

 “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

 “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

-Sun Tzu, The Art of War-


                                              COURSE REGISTRATION FORM

                     Mirror Image: From the Edge of Raqqa, the Evolution and

                                                 Future of ISIS and their Wilayats

August 1-5, 2016-New Jersey  Limited Number of Seats

Course fee covers housing, meals and all course materials.

Submit Registration and fee to:  Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

5765 Burke Center Parkway, PMB 331

Burke, Virginia 22015

Or Email to trcmirrorimage@terorism3.com


Name/Rank to Appear on Certificate of Completion_____________________________________________
Name                                                                                  Email
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Early Registration Pay by Check  by May 20th                                   $2500
After May 20th                                                                                               $2995
Other form of Payment Call for Credit Card or Purchase Order    $2995
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All Course Attendees must be approved by the Terrorism Research Center to verify credentials and qualifications to attend. Course attendees must be U.S. Citizens in the military, intelligence or law enforcement community and be approved to attend. As with all our Mirror Image programs this is a total immersion course with long days and hardships.  For course information contact Walter Purdy at (703) 801-2297 or at Purdy@terrorism3.com .







Terrorists Beheading Plots and Targeting the Police


                              The destiny of a wolf cub is to become a wolf, 
                              even if it is reared among the sons of men.

                                                                            -Ibn el-Arabi

The internet and social media are tools that are used to radicalize individuals in the United States. But the important cogs in this process are those who have manipulated and motivated those to undertake these attacks. One such cog was Junaid Hussain. Hussain manipulated two individuals in Phoenix and three individuals in New England to undertake attacks in the United States.

One of those individuals Nicholas Rovinski who is awaiting trial for conspiring to provide material support to ISIS had been plotting to behead people while he is locked up awaiting trial.

Last year David Wright, Usaamah Abdullah Rahim and Nicholas Rovinski, conspired to behead Pamela Geller who had organized the May 3, 2015, Mohammad Art Exhibit & Contest in Garland, Texas. But they were not the first to plan to attack and kill Pamela Geller. Two others from Phoenix had been manipulated to kill Pamela Geller. Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi drove over 16 hours from Phoenix, Arizona to attack the event in Garland, Texas. The two men were encouraged to launch this attack by Junaid Hussain, a key ISIS leader also known as Abu Hussain al-Britani.

True believers do not stray from their path. Simpson and Soofi drove east 1081 miles on Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 to carry out their attack in Garland, Texas. The two men wore body armor and had three assault rifles, three handguns and 1500 rounds of ammunition. Just before launching their attack Simpson tweeted “#texasattack: May Allah accept us as mujahideen.” The two terrorists shot a security guard and at police in Garland, Texas before both being killed. The organizers of the exhibit at the Curtis Culwell Center had 40 off-duty police and security officers to protect the event. Immediately after the attack, Junaid Hussain tweeted “Allahu Akbar!!! 2 of our brothers just opened fire.” This would not be the last plot to kill Pamela Geller.

Usaamah Rahim had connected with ISIS members overseas including Junaid Hussain. Hussain had used Twitter and social media to encourage supporters to carry out attacks in the United States and Europe. Hussain had instructed Rahim to kill Pamela Geller in New York.

On May 5, 2015, two days after the attack in Garland, Texas, ISIS posted a propaganda statement calling for the slaughter of Pamela Geller. The statement entitled “The New Era” was posted to justpasteit.com. The statement contained the following:

The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wilyah in the heart of our enemy. Our aim was the khanzeer Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her, we will send all our lions to achieve her slaughter. This will heal the hearts of our brothers and disperse the ones behind her. To those who protect her, this will be your only warning of housing this woman and her circus show. Everyone who houses her events, gives her a platform to spill her filth are legitimate targets. We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooting of our brothers. We knew that the target was protected. Our intention was to show how easily we give our lives for the sake of Allah.

We have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday. We are increasing in number bismillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name. Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California and Michigan. The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you have killed someone untrained, nay, they give you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.

David Wright, of Everett Massachusetts and his Uncle Usaamah Rahim, of Roslindale, Massachusetts connected with Nicholas Rovinski who lived in Warwick, Rhode Island. The three men conspired to “behead” Pamela Geller. By May 27, 2015, Rahim had ordered three large knives from Amazon. On May 31, 2015, Wright and Rahim drove from Boston and picked up Rovinski at his residence in Warwick, Rhode Island. The three drove to a deserted damp beach in Warwick to talk about the plan to behead Geller.

On June 2, 2015, at about 5:00 a.m. Rahim called Wright and advised him of a change of plan. He no longer planned to conduct the attack in New York on Pamela Geller. Instead Rahim advised Wright that he wished to “meet Allah sooner” and “leave his worldly life.” Rahim advised Wright that he intended to attack “those boys in blue,” police officers locally in Massachusetts either that day or the next. Rahim had been under surveillance and his phone tapped by law enforcement so police knew that Rahim intended to attack law enforcement in Boston instead of going to New York to attack Pamela Geller.

At about 7:00 a.m. Rahim was approached by Boston Police Officers and FBI Agents near a CVS parking lot on Washington Street. Rahim brandished a knife and was shot twice by law enforcement.

This is not the first time the police have been targeted by homegrown terrorists who have been radicalized. In 2014, Zale Thompson, a convert to Islam took the kunya Zaim Farouq Abdul-Malik and attacked four New York Police officers on a street in Queens. Thompson attacked the four officers with a hatchet. Thompson struck two officers with the hatchet before being killed.

Terrorists have targeted police and will continue to do so. In the Charlie Hebdo attack the terrorists thought nothing of killing two police officers. In a couple weeks police officers from across the country will gather at Judiciary Square to honor those officers that lost their lives in the line of duty. These plots show how homegrown terrorists are a constant danger to the law enforcement community and we must remember that the boys in blue put their lives on the line every day they go to work.